Friday, March 20, 2009
PAINGA ETE RAPA NUI
As we walk the streets of Hanga Roa, the only village on Easter Island, we are approached by beautiful creatures. No, not pretty Polynesian women in their sarongs, but DOGS!!! - the "Painga ete Rapa Nui" or streetdogs of Easter Island. Dogs are everywhere here. No leashes, no collars. They are all by themselves. WILD!!! They are mostly brown or black, or a combination and appear to be of some Shepherd heritage. We thought they were all friendly and “man's best friend” until the night lisa went to the market. She walked back to our guesthouse with both raw chicken and pork sausage in a plastic bag. Now doggie wants dinner. He (bad dogs are always “boys”) snapped at the bag and bit her shoe. She picked up a rock and he left her alone. lisa escaped with the groceries and arrived home safely. Whew!!! (The chicken was good...just a hint of German Shepherd)
When you approach an area, lets say, a portion of a sidewalk, they will amble up to you, maybe sniff, then follow you to the end of their territory. Pretty soon another will join you at the beginning of their turf and drop you off at their boundary's end. They huddle in doorways of shops but won't enter. They allow you to pet them. Sharon, the owner of Te'ora, our guest house, says they will stay with a tourist because they depend on us for food. They don't look hungry or emaciated so they must get their food from somewhere. I wonder how our leashed friends back home would fare here? Probably not very well since they bark and whine in English not in Rapa Nui.
While at Te'Ora, our stay was enhanced greatly by the presence of a former streetdog named "Michigan". He kept us company at Te'Ora by staying close... even laying half his body on our doorstep. You see he wasn't allowed in the room. He walked with us in town (five hours one day), always keeping us in sight as he socialized with his friends and picked fights with others. He wouldn't let anything harm us. GREAT DOG, MICHIGAN!!!!!